AviationInternational travel between Britain-US could happen as soon a 17 May, so long as vaccine rollouts continue.

British Airways CEO bullish about global travel comeback

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British Airways CEO Sean Doyle believes the airlines' "breadth and depth of the network" built in the US has historically been "a competitive advantage" for the airline. Photo Credit: British Airways

While Europe travel may not happen until 3Q 2021, say tourism experts, one exception could be the UK, which is much further ahead of the region in vaccinations.

British Airways for one has indicated that the carrier is in a good position to lead a European recovery — so long as Britain and the US keep up with their relatively swift vaccine progress — which could lead to an "immediate opportunity to open up the US," said chief executive Sean Doyle at online industry event, CAPA Live, reported CNA.

The airline's head honcho has pegged for international travel to reopen from 17 May, this despite Britain prime minister Boris Johnson cautioning on 5 April that it's too soon to judge if global summer travels would be happening this year.

England's outdoor hospitality areas, shops, gyms and hairdressers reopened on 12 April.

"We are optimistic that travel can resume on 17 May, and the British public should not lose hope, and we remain optimistic that this will happen," Doyle told an online briefing. The CNA report added that the airline believes its "breadth and depth of the network we have provided there historically has been a competitive advantage for us".

Another possible positive push could come from the digital health certificate that tracks vaccines currently proposed by the European Commission. Eduardo Santander, CEO of the European Travel Commission and chairman of the European Tourism Manifesto Alliance said he hopes the plan can be adopted by June and that there is hope that the EU and the US can reach an agreement on a common technology for such certificates to ease travel.

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